Holst's missing Saturn, and Ernest Macmillan conducts some Plan

  • I've just completed the latest update to my site, with a focus on Holst's Planets Suite.
    First up is Ernest Macmillan's 1942 Victor recording of Mars, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The filler side is Adrian Boult's 1937 BBCSO recording of Elgar's Imperial March.
    The other items are Holst's 1923 and 1925 acoustic recordings of Saturn. The 1923 version is the one that has been reissued on LP and CD, but I suspect that its 1925 remake, has not been reissued before. It replaced the 1923 one, on the same catalogue number after just 13 months, and was available for 19 months. However, existing stocks of the 1923 version would have taken some time to be sold, so this version is likely to be rare. The 1923 version takes about 7 minutes, and the 1926 electrical remake takes just under 7 minutes. This 1925 version, however, runs for 8 minutes and 20 seconds!
    Full details of Holst's acoustic Planets are on my site. It's worth noting that Jupiter (Columbia L1459), originally recorded in 1922 was also re-recorded in 1925. This remake was only available for 14 months (compared to 32 months for the 1922 version), and again is unlikely to have been reissued. Sadly, I only have the 1922 version. So, if you have an acoustic Jupiter, check it out - it may be the later version, and it would be fascinating to unearth it.


  • Chuck Klaus
    Chuck Klaus Dear Damian - Thanks for your work on this.( I tried to thank you on the Google group page, but for some reason they're only accepting 1 out of every two or three submissions from me...Hmm...) I wonder if anyone else in the group is of the opinion that th...  more
    June 27, 2011
  • Damian Rogan
    Damian Rogan Alan Sanders's 1970s Gramophone article agrees. In the early 1920s when Holst first recorded The Planets, acoustic recording was well-honed, but there was still some caution as to how much could fit on a side. The 1925 remake of Saturn suggests a level of...  more
    June 30, 2011
  • Peter Nickleson
    Peter Nickleson Have never heard the Victor album DM929 version before. Thanks for sharing your blog with us. Always a pleasure to see what you have installed for us.
    July 6, 2011
  • Daryl Bullis
    Daryl Bullis I have both the complete sets of the '23 and '25 Planets and I agree that the 1923 acoustic Planets are better records than the 1925 electrics. The '23 records are sonically superior in every way for all the reasons that Damian mentions. Whether the '23 P...  more
    October 23, 2011 - 1 likes this